August 3, 2012

Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights


  August 3, 2012

Mayo Clinic in the News is a weekly highlights summary of major media coverage. If you would like to be added to the weekly distribution list, send a note to Emily Blahnik with this subject line: SUBSCRIBE to Mayo Clinic in the News.

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Karl Oestreich, manager enterprise media relations

NFL launches help line for current, former players
by Nadia Kounang

In the wake of the suicide of former New England Patriot and San Diego Charger Junior Seau, the National Football League launched the NFL Life Line this week. The Life Line is an around-the-clock crisis support line to help current and former players, as well as their families, in times of need…Dr . Tim Lineberry, a psychiatrist with the Mayo Clinic and suicide prevention specialist, hopes the message will be felt beyond the football field. “The NFL is such a big part of American life,” he said. “I think it might have potential impact on others.”

Reach: has 74.2 million unique visitors to its website each month.

Context: Tim Lineberry, M.D., is a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and specialist in suicide issues. Dr. Lineberry provided his expert perspective to a variety of media outlets when the NFL made its annoucement:  AP, Washington Post,,,, Yahoo!,,, WTOP.

Public Affairs Contacts: Traci Klein, Nick Hanson, Sharon Theimer

Star Tribune
Mayo adds Dartmouth-Hitchcock to network
by Jackie Crosby

The Mayo Clinic has reeled in a high-profile participant in its quest to build a nexus of health care organizations to improve treatments and bring down the cost of health care due to misdiagnosis, inefficiencies and poor results. The prestigious Dartmouth-Hitchcock system said Friday it will join the Mayo Clinic Care Network, the seventh organization since the effort began in the past year.

Circulation:   The Star Tribune Sunday circulation is 514,457 copies and weekday circulation is 300,330. The Star Tribune is the state’s largest newspaper and ranks 16th nationally in circulation.

Context: Mayo Clinic made an announcement July 25 about the newest member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. The formal collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) brings the strengths of both organizations to the goal of improving health and health care quality while lowering overall costs. the announcement garnered widespread coverage:  Boston Globe, Bennington Banner Vt., MedCity News, Post-Bulletin, Pioneer Press, Seacoast Online, WHIO Radio(Ohio), WCAX Vt., PhysOrg, WFTV Orlando,, San Francisco Chronicle, The Republic Ind., Modern Healthcare, Pioneer Press, HealthLeaders Media, Chicago TribuneUnionLeader N.H.

Public Affairs Contact:

NY Times
A Call to End Routine Treadmill Stress Testing
by Anahad  O’Connor

On Monday, an expert government panel, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, joined the call by recommending against routine testing with electrocardiograms, or EKGs, in people who have no known risk factors or symptoms of heart disease, like shortness of breath or chest pains…. Todd D. Miller, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who has studied the test's effectiveness, said there were plenty of anecdotal reports about the treadmill stress test uncovering undiagnosed cases of heart disease, but no prospective studies bearing that out.  Still, he predicted the test would remain widely used. "It takes a long time to see recommendations implemented in practice, and some of these old habits die hard." he said.

Circulation: The New York Times has the third highest circulation nationally, behind USA Today (2nd) and The Wall Street Journal (1st) with 1,150,589 weekday copies circulated and 1,645,152 circulated on Sundays.

Context: Todd Miller, M.D., is a Mayo Clinic cardiologist. His expertise includes reseach in nuclear cardiology, preventive cardiology, stress testing and sports cardiology.

Public Affairs Contact: Traci Klein

Washington Post
Genetic tests could explain why some children and teens die unexpectedly
by Darshak Sanghavi

In 1998, Michael Ackerman, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, heard about a 19-year-old athlete who had died after nearly drowning in only four feet of water while swimming at a fitness club in Iowa. At the time, Ackerman and several colleagues were studying a genetic disease called long QT syndrome.

Circulation: Weekday circulation of The Washington Post averages 518,700, and Sunday circulation averages 736,800.

Context: Mayo Clinic issued a news release July 24 about the  Long QT Syndrome study which was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In the study, the records of 353 LQTS patients ages 6 to 40 who were evaluated at Mayo Clinic between July 2000 and November 2010 were reviewed to determine which patients chose to continue athletic participation after LQTS diagnosis and LQTS-related events. The study was also highlighted in The New York Times below.

Public Affairs Contact: Traci Klein

NY Times
Overcoming a Heart Condition to Win Olympic Gold
by Anahad O’Connor

The swimmer Dana Vollmer joined the London Olympics highlight reel when she set a record in the 100-meter butterfly on Sunday, becoming the first woman ever to finish the event in less than 56 seconds…But one of the most compelling aspects of Ms. Vollmer’s story is that she overcame not only athletic stumbles on her way to the gold but also a potentially deadly heart condition…Ms. Vollmer appears to have outgrown her long QT diagnosis. Doctors can no longer detect any signs of it. But her story illustrates that some athletes can still participate in competitive sports despite cardiac defects. Indeed, a study by the Mayo Clinic published last week looked at 130 athletes who continued competing despite a diagnosis of long QT syndrome and found that only one had a cardiac event triggered by the condition while playing.

Circulation: The New York Times has the third highest circulation nationally, behind USA Today (2nd) and The Wall Street Journal (1st) with 1,150,589 weekday copies circulated and 1,645,152 circulated on Sundays.

Context: See Washington Post story above.

Public Affairs Contact: Traci Klein

FOX News
Olympic sports ping-pong, badminton give brain a boost

Olympic sports like running and swimming are excellent aerobic exercises: They can strengthen your body, burn calories and boost your mood. Any exercise that gets your heart pumping can reduce the risk of dementia, according to the Mayo Clinic. “We know that 30 minutes of aerobic activity of any kind, five times per week is associated with reduced risk of cognitive decline,” said Dr. Rodolfo Savica, a neurologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “So it is important to stay active often and as early as you can.”

Reach: has more than 13 million unique visitors each month.

Context: Mayo Clinic issued an expert alert July 31 which highlighted Olympic sports that can serve as brain boosters. Rodolfo Savica, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist, offered his expert perspective.

Public Affairs Contact: Sharon Theimer, Brian Kilen

Additional coverage: Medical News Today, Toronto Telegraph

Wall Street Journal
Some Brain Tumors Are Linked to a Gene Defect
by Ron Winslow

A genetic mutation appears to be behind some cases of a common and aggressive brain cancer, researchers at Columbia University said, and targeting the abnormality with a drug prolonged the lives of mice with the condition…Robert Jenkins, professor of laboratory genetics at the Mayo Clinic, said it was particularly interesting that the researchers found the gene fusion in three patients. Glioblastoma is known to be genetically complex and when such abnormalities are found, they are often seen only in a single patient, said Dr. Jenkins, who wasn't involved in the research.

Circulation: The Wall Street Journal, a US-based newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company, is tops in newspaper circulation in America with an average circulation of 2 million copies on weekdays.

Context: Robert Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., is a Mayo Clinic cancer resarch expert.

Public Affairs Contacts: Joe Dangor, Traci Klein, Bob Nellis

San Francisco Chronicle, (AP)
Is your problem gluten? Or faddish eating?
By Mike Stobbe

It sounds like an unfolding epidemic: A decade ago, virtually no one in the U.S. seemed to have a problem eating gluten in bread and other foods. Now, millions do. Gluten-free products are flying off grocery shelves, and restaurants are boasting of meals with no gluten…More recently, a research team led by the Mayo Clinic's Dr. Joseph Murray looked at blood samples taken from Americans in the 1950s and compared them with samples taken from people today, and determined it wasn't just better diagnosis driving up the numbers.

Circulation: According to Scarborough Research, total weekly audience for The Chronicle and its online home,, is 1.7 million Bay Area adults each week. The Chronicle reaches 400,000 more Bay Area readers each week than the next largest newspaper.

Context: Mayo Clinic issued a news release on July 31. Roughly 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease, but around 1.4 million of them are unaware that they have it, a Mayo Clinic-led analysis of the condition's prevalence has found. Meanwhile, 1.6 million people in the United States are on a gluten-free diet even though they haven't been diagnosed with celiac disease, according to the study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. The study also garnered additional coverage: Marietta Daily Journal, Newsday, CBS News, Salt Lake Tribune, Washington Post, KAAL, LiveScience, Jackson Clarion-Ledger Miss., Seattle Times, FOX News Latino, Philippine Star, Medical Xpress, WSET Va., ScienceBlog, Long Island Business, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Post-Bulletin, Veja Brazilian magazine, Private MD, Winnipeg Free Press, Vancouver Sun, KSTP, KTVK Ariz., WBBM CBS Radio Chicago, WCBS NY, Nature, TIME, WKBT La Crosse, WCCO, WSAW Wis., American News Report, Mother Nature Network, Ledger Independent, Medical News Today, redOrbit, Arizona Family, CTV News, Spartanburg Herald Journal, ABC7 Chicago, FOX 10 Phoenix, Winnipeg Free Press, WebMD, Newsmax Health, WebMD, New York Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, WCCO.

Public Affairs Contact: Brian Kilen

Boston Globe
Mayor Menino to undergo surgery to fix droopy eyelids
by Andrew Ryan

Mayor Thomas M. Menino is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday to repair drooping eyelids, a medical condition that has slowly obscured his vision over the past decade and is most likely a consequence of age… “I tell my patients not to have this done before the prom, because they are going to be black and blue,” said Dr. George B. Bartley, an ophthalmologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who did not have specific knowledge of Menino’s case but performs similar surgeries. “Their best friend is an ice mask for the first few days.”

Circulation: The Boston Globe has a daily circulation of more than 225,000 and  Sunday circulation of more than 365,000.

Context: George B. Bartley, M.D, is an ophthalmologist at Mayo Clinic.

Public Affairs Contact: Bob Nellis

Star Tribune
Editorial: Worst possible time to cut research

Minnesota's congressional delegation must more prominently wield its clout to prevent harmful cuts to medical research funding -- an economic engine vital to the state and the nation…If Congress truly wants to drive value, quality and efficiencies in the health care system, I urge you to reject the elimination of funding for [the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality] and to ensure that other agencies that conduct medical and health services research are funded at the highest possible level." Mayo CEO Dr. JOHN NOSEWORTHY, in a July 23 letter to U.S. House leaders.

Circulation: The Star Tribune Sunday circulation is 514,457 copies and weekday circulation is 300,330. The Star Tribune is the state’s largest newspaper and ranks 16th nationally in circulation.

Context: Mayo Clinic issued a news release July 11. Mayo Clinic and 18 other leading medical research institutions nationwide are urging congressional leaders to maintain current funding levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They say medical research funding is essential for the health of the nation and the economy. NIH-funded research happens in all 50 states, and occurs in large and small communities across the nation — strengthening the economy and creating jobs. It is estimated that every $1 million in federal research funding creates at least 16 jobs in a community.

Public Affairs Contact: Bob Nellis

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Tags: Boston Globe, Cancer, Cardiology, celiac disease, CNN, Dana Vollmer, Dr. John Noseworthy, Dr. Joseph Murray, Dr. Robert Jenkins, Dr. Tim Lineberry, EKG, Fox News, Genomics, George B. Bartley, Journal of the American Medical Association, Long QT Syndrome, Mayo Clinic in the News, Mayo Clinic Rochester, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Neurology, NY Times, Ophthalmology, Psychology and Psychiatry, Research, Rodolfo Savica, San Francisco Chronicle, Star Tribune, suicide prevention, The Wall Street Journal, Todd D. Miller, United States Preventive Services Task Force, Washington Post, Women's Health

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